Kingsville Approves Medical Pot Production For First Time

Kingsville is a step closer to having its first ever medical marijuana operation.

Town council approved re-zoning applications that would allow three separate greenhouse operations to produce medical marijuana. However, all three applicants still need a producers licence from Health Canada before being able to grow the plants.

There was little pushback to the re-zoning and Kingsville Deputy Mayor Gord Queen credits administration.

"I think the fact that our planning staff have been working for months with the applicants to answer the questions ahead of time so there weren't a lot of surprises — definite factor," says Queen.

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A key map of Rico Roots Farm Plant Inc. included as part of a re-zoning application for medical marijuana production seen in the agenda for the regular meeting of council in Kingsville on March 12, 2018.

Rob Brown is the manager of planning services for the town.

He's surprised there's been little fuss since the new regulations came online in 2014.

"There was almost no objection. As a planner it puzzles me. You're usually dealing with objection but, no — these have been fairly straight forward."

Queen is happy to see the town's strong greenhouse sector branch out into an emerging industry.

"I like strawberries better than marijuana, but I'm glad to see the growth in our industries," says Queen. "I think we're making progress. The more important thing is the fact that the public were present. The public didn't have any concerns or questions. I think that's the key thing."

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A key map of JEM Farms included as part of a re-zoning application for medical marijuana production seen in the agenda for the regular meeting of council in Kingsville on March 12, 2018.

The first three re-zonings aren't likely to be the last.

Brown expects more applications to set up more medical marijuana operations in the not too distant future.

"There's some belief that medical producers now may switch to recreational which is going to potentially lead to a shortage of medical producers so, there's no been a push — I've had, for quite some time, almost daily inquiries," says Brown.

JEM Farms on County Rd. 34 near Colasanti's, Rico Roots Plant Farm on Road 3 East near Graham Side Rd. across from Mastronardi Estate Winery and DC Farms on County Rd. 34 across from Tamar Building Products have all received the needed re-zoning to produce medical marijuana.

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A key map of DC Farms included as part of a re-zoning application for medical marijuana production seen in the agenda for the regular meeting of council in Kingsville on March 12, 2018.

Queen says the applicants will still need to settle a site plan agreement with the town before growing any pot.

"Site plans is when we deal with everything like fences and the actual design of the sites and we'll be dealing with that and the public again will have a chance to give us some input."

One the proponents put the investment potential at $50-million in infrastructure along with 200 to 400 new jobs, both high and low skill work, with an annual payroll of $20-million.